Middle-Earth Goes Wireless With Multi-Player Text Messaging and WAP Games

From December 18th, 2001, Eircell Vodafone customers and “Lord of the Rings” fans can experience Wireless Middle-earth through a series of SMS and WAP games. Eircell Vodafone is the only network in Ireland to offer the mobile services provided by Riot Entertainment, (RIOT-E, www.riot-e.com), the global leader in wireless entertainment.

The Battle of Middle-earth – a multi player text messaging game – allows players to command an entire army. One player leads the Orc army while the rest of the players work to defeat the evil Orc army. Played in consecutive rounds of spying and attacking the ‘good guys’ must work together to defeat the Orc army.

Eircell Vodafone’s “The Lord of the Rings” also includes the “Rune Creator” a service that allows names and logos to be translated into the Middle-earth alphabets of elven script or dwarven rune.

“The Lord of the Rings” games will allow fans of New Line Cinema’s movie trilogy an opportunity to participate in a “Middle-earth” of their own.

“Through ‘The Lord of the Rings’ SMS and WAP games we are offering our customers the very best in wireless entertainment,” said Martin Wells, Product Marketing Manager, Eircell Vodafone. “It’s all about interactivity and with this service, Eircell Vodafone customers have a tool that will make the Middle-earth experience come alive through their mobile phones.”

“The Lord of the Rings content includes something for everyone, from logos to single and multi-player games. As the provider and publisher for The Lord of the Rings mobile services to over a 150 million person global mobile community, RIOT-E is pleased to cooperate with Eircell Vodafone and provide this unique content to its customers,” said Gisa Heckmann, Senior Vice President, RIOT-E.

“The Lord of the Rings” games are played through a series of commands sent to mobile phones as text messages. Each text message sent will cost 0.13euro/10p incl. VAT and are free to receive.

Eircell Vodafone

Eircell Vodafone is Ireland’s leading mobile phone operator with a base of over 1.6 million customers and a total of 1,500 employees. Eircell Vodafone holds 60% of the market share in Ireland. On May 11, 2001 Eircell officially became a subsidiary of the Vodafone Group plc, the largest mobile telecommunications company in the world. It has interests in mobile networks in 28 countries across five continents. In June 2001, Vodafone had approximately 95 million proportionate customers worldwide.

Riot Entertainment Ltd.

Founded in February 2000, Riot Entertainment immediately established itself as the most innovative publisher, creator and distributor of entertainment in the wireless sector. RIOT-E provides wireless entertainment, communication and commerce to mobile users worldwide. Games created by RIOT-E are promoted and co-branded in parallel with highly visible international media releases, such as movies, TV shows and sports events. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, RIOT-E employs 70 people worldwide.

(You can find Eircell Vodafone’s very cool LOTR site here. -DC)